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Across Art and Fashion

Is fashion art?
A simple question conceals the complex universe of an articulated relationship that has long been investigated, but without arriving at a clear and unequivocal definition. This project analyses the forms of dialogue between these two worlds: reciprocal inspirations, overlaps and collaborations, from the experiences of the Pre-Raphaelites to those of Futurism, and from Surrealism to Radical Fashion.

The exhibition itinerary focuses on the work of Salvatore Ferragamo, who was fascinated and inspired by the avant-garde art movements of the 20th century, on several ateliers of the Fifties and Sixties that were venues for studies and encounters, and on the advent of the culture of celebrities. It then examines the experimentation of the Nineties and goes on to ponder whether in the contemporary cultural industry we can still talk about two separate worlds or if we are instead dealing with a fluid interplay of roles.
The distinctive aspect of the exhibition layout lies in the collaboration with other cultural institutions, which took an active part in implementing this concept with the aim of inspiring joint reflection: in addition to the Museo Salvatore Ferragamo, promotor and organizer of the project together with the Fondazione Ferragamo, in Florence the Biblioteca Nazionale Centrale, the Gallerie degli Uffizi (the Galleria d’arte moderna di Palazzo Pitti and the Galleria del Costume), the Museo Marino Marini, and in Prato the Museo del Tessuto.

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Salvatore Ferragamo,Tirassegno, 1958, pump in ochre suede with polychrome kidskin appliqués.

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Kenneth Noland, Untitled, 1958, acrylic on canvas. Bergamo, Private collection (courtesy of Galleria Fumagalli, Milan).

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Rosa Genoni, ‘Pisanello’ court cape, 1906, silk velvet with embroidery and lace appliqués, metal thread fringe, cylindrical and round beads. Florence, Gallerie degli Uffizi, Galleria del Costume di Palazzo Pitti.

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Elsa Schiaparelli with Jean Cocteau, Evening coat, Autumn collection 1937, rayon knit. The cup motif of Rubin, designed by Jean Cocteau, was embroidered by the Maison Lesage. Philadelphia, Philadelphia Museum of Art, gift of Elsa Schiaparelli (1969).

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Paolo Scheggi, Curved Intersurface, 1967, blue acrylic on three superimposed canvases. Milan, Franca and Cosima Scheggi Collection.

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Germana Marucelli, Short evening dress, “Linea Alluminio”, 1968, Haute couture collection, Autumn/Winter 1968–9, sequins on silk organza with ‘shield’ motifs, created in collaboration with Paolo Scheggi. Private collection (courtesy Archivio Germana Marucelli, Milan).

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Issey Miyake, Plastic Body, 1980, bodice in reinforced plastic fibre. Tokyo, The Miyake Issey Foundation.

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Christopher Makos, Altered Image, 1981, 120 #6 frame 10, digital print. Private collection.

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Nick Cave, Soundsuit, 2010, frame of doilies squared on the back, doilies arranged in a spiral on the front, knit fabrics, sequins, pot holders, vintage doilies and knit leggings. Parma, Emanuela Barilla Collection.

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Yinka Shonibare, MBE, Food Faerie, 2011, fiberglass manikin, printed Dutch cotton, leather, feather wings, steel baseplate. Berlin, courtesy Yinka Shonibare and Blain|Southern Gallery.

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Irina Kulikova Viktor & Rolf, Irina, “Shirt Symphony” collection, Spring/Summer 2011, satin and lace dress with shirt cuffs incorporated into the collar. Rotterdam, Museum Boijmans Van Beuningen, H+F Collection.

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